Discovery, Starcom pact for ads

Media buyer's clients include Kellogg's, Miller

Discovery Communications has engineered an upfront advertising deal with the Chicago-based media buyer Starcom USA that will funnel ad spots across 11 of Discovery’s cable networks.

Starcom, which represents clients such as Kellogg’s, Miller Brewing and Nintendo, convinced Discovery execs to set ad rates based on minute-by-minute commercial ratings within a show.

The broadcast nets, by contrast, are signing most of their advertising deals based on average commercial ratings because Madison Avenue demand has made the broadcasting upfront a sellers’ market.

If Discovery’s deal is a harbinger, advertiser demand may not be so strong, at least in part because broadcasters reach 110 million homes vs. the average big-cable-network delivery of 90 million-94 million households.

The networks on which Starcom’s clients will buy ads in 2007-08 are Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Health, Science Channel, Military Channel, Discovery Times, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Home, Travel Channel and BBC America.

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